Downers Grove, Illinois is lighting the way when itcomes to hybrid street lights.
Using a combination of solar, wind and battery power, the PrentissCreek Subdivision in Downers Grove is the first residential subdivisionin the United States with hybrid street lights. In 2008, the Prentiss Creek Homeowner’s Association (HOA) requestedstreet lights for its unlit neighborhood. While various types of streetlights were considered, it was determined hybrid lights, manufactured by Ohio-based King Luminaire Co., were the best fit for the neighborhood.
The Prentiss Creek Hybrid Street Light Project includes 25energy-efficient street lights comprised of wind turbines, solar panelsand LED lights. The system uses no electricity from the grid. The superquiet vertical-axis turbines work in both low and high winds.
Snow and ice slides right off the turbines and the turbines do notharm birds. The sealed batteries located at the base of the pole, storeup to three days worth of electricity and are good for about 10 years.And a special coating on the traditional-style concrete post isgraffiti-proof.
The self-contained hybrid system is designed to last for up to100,000 hours, compared to conventional lighting systems that need to be replaced after 10,000 hours. And according to the Trib Local, when compared to traditional street lights, it is estimatedthe hybrid system will save 500,000 kilowatts of electricity and reducecarbon dioxide emissions by nearly 350 tons over a 30-year period.
Nearly half of the US$282,500 project was funded by CommunityDevelopment Block Grant (CDBG) Agreement from the DuPage CountyNeighborhood Investment Program. Downers Grove was the recipient of theTechnical Innovation Award from the Chicago Metro Chapter of theAmerican Public Works Association.
The Prentiss Creek Hybrid Street Light Project, which took about sixmonths to complete, requires little maintenance, saves money and reduces carbon emissions while providing much needed light to the neighborhood.